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How to Get a Work Permit in Sweden: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Get a Work Permit in Sweden: A Comprehensive Guide

Sweden is an attractive destination for professionals looking to advance their careers or explore new
opportunities. However, before starting a job in Sweden, non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss citizens must obtain a work
permit. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to get a work permit in Sweden, detailing the
application process, required documents, and other pertinent information.

Apply before entering Sweden

As a general rule, applicants should apply for a work permit before entering Sweden. Applying online is
recommended, as it provides clear instructions on how to complete the application and which documents to submit.
This increases the chances of a quick decision.

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Secure an employment contract

To obtain a work permit, applicants must have a job offer in Sweden and provide an employment contract with their
application. The employer must have advertised the job in Sweden, the EU/EEA, and Switzerland for at least ten
days before entering into the employment contract.

Employer initiates the application

The Swedish employer initiates the work permit application by providing information about the employment, such as
the applicant’s name, date of birth, citizenship, education, and email address. The Swedish Migration Agency
will use this email address to communicate with the applicant throughout the application process.

Complete the application and submit documents

Upon receiving an email with instructions on applying for a work permit, applicants should provide the required
information and ensure that their employment terms match what they have agreed upon with their employer. If the
applicant’s family is accompanying them to Sweden, they should apply for permits simultaneously. Applicants must
also attach the following documents:

  • Employment contract
  • Passport copies (including personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, issuing country,
    validity period, barcode, and any other country residence permissions)
  • Power of attorney, if representing the applicant

If the applicant’s passport is about to expire, they should renew it, as the permit duration cannot exceed the
passport’s validity. Additional documents may be required for specific occupations, extensions, or personal

Pay and submit the application

In most cases, applicants must pay a fee using Visa or Mastercard before submitting their application. Both the
applicant and their employer will receive email confirmations after submission. The Migration Agency may request
additional information if needed.

Migration Agency processes the application

The Swedish Migration Agency processes the application, and the processing time varies depending on the completeness of the application and required documents. In some cases, further examination may be necessary.

Show your passport

Before making a decision, the Swedish Migration Agency must verify the applicant’s passport, which may require visiting a Swedish embassy, consulate-general, or one of the Migration Agency’s service centers. If needed, the agency will contact the applicant with instructions on how and when to show their passport.

Receive the residence permit card

If granted a permit for more than three months, applicants will receive a residence permit card, which proves their permission to reside in Sweden. The card contains information such as fingerprints and photographs, which must be provided at a Swedish embassy, consulate-general, or the Migration Agency’s service center.

Receiving the decision

After a decision is made, the applicant will receive an email notification, and the actual decision will be provided by the specified embassy or consulate-general. The residence permit card will be produced and delivered within four weeks of providing fingerprints and photographs at the embassy or consulate-general.


Obtaining a work permit in Sweden involves a thorough application process that requires careful attention to detail and the submission of various documents. By following this comprehensive guide, applicants can ensure that their application is complete and accurate, improving their chances of successfully obtaining a work permit and beginning their new journey in Sweden.

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